So the holidays have passed (whew, it got a little crazy there) and we have spent the past few weeks just playing and having fun with all the gifts we received. Many of them have offered several learning opportunities and I thought I would share what has been a hit in our house.


Munchkin 36 Bath Letters and Numbers


Munchkin 36 Bath Letters and Numbers have made bath time at our house a delight. Maybe I haven’t given my kids enough bath toys in the past, but they beg for bath time now, just so they can play with them. My kids sing the alphabet the entire time they are in the water and have a blast a decorating the tub with letters and numbers. We play games like Where is the letter P? and Can you find all the letters in your name?





Thinkfun Roll and Play Board Game 1



ThinkFun Roll and Play Board Game has been a really fun family game for my really young children. I have been looking for games that we all can play and this one really caters to the younger crowd. From an educational perspective, the game only offers a review of colors, but the colorful plush cube is a great tool to create other games (which allows limitless learning opportunities).






Melissa and Doug Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle




Melissa and Doug Alphabet Train Puzzle is a really simple puzzle for beginners (which my children are) and is large and engaging.  My kids are really into trains right now so that excites them and they love all the pictures of the different animals.  They also get excited at how long the “train” becomes as we put it together.





Learning Resources Play Register



Learning Resources Pretend and Play Calculator Cash Register has helped introduce our family to principles of commerce. We are still far from grasping the full concepts of money, but we have had a great time playing store and trading money for items. Eventually we will learn that different coins and dollars have different values, and how to add and subtract, and how to budget, and how to use money wisely. But for now, we are just having fun using  money to buy up everything in the house.





Skylta Children's Market Stand




Skylta Children’s Market Stand from Ikea has also added to our pretend store fun. This simple (and pretty darn cheap) cardboard market stand has also been used for puppet shows and to play house. I am sure if we brainstormed, we could find even more fun ways to to use it in our imaginative play.





Obviously, we had a wonderful Christmas. I hope you did too!

What great “learning” gifts did you get (or give) this year? 


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6 Responses to Our Five Favorite Learning Gifts

  1. Michelle Prince says:

    Fun ideas! Thanks for taking the time to share them! My favorite educational toy from this year’s Christmas is “Magformers.” Though a bit pricey, they are awesome and present a great opportunity to learn about creating, shapes, colors, angles, dimensions, etc. They are great for any age.

  2. Tanaya says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing what fun and educational things that big cube/dice can be used for. How am I never aware of these valuable educational gifts? We just have a lot of trucks and balls around right now.

    • Lindsay says:

      Oh Tanaya, You are so funny. Balls and trucks are also very educational. Balls promote kinesthetic development (fine and gross motor skills) and trucks encourage imaginative play. Rest assured, your kid is doing just great :)

  3. Havalah says:

    Those are great gift ideas. We also have the letters and Luke loves them and will match some of his animals up to the correct letter. We got Luke quite a few puzzles because he too LOVES puzzles. I love the Ikea market stand; I’ll have to add it to my list.

  4. Sarah says:

    What great gifts! Isaac also got the cash register for Christmas. He’s definitely too young to really enjoy it, but he now knows what money is. I’m excited to use it for learning in the future. Thanks for the great ideas.

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